CORRELATION OF DETRITAL ZIRCON PROVENANCE TRENDS WITH PALEOCLIMATE PROXIES TO ASSESS POTENTIAL LATE CRETACEOUS GLACIATION OF ANTARCTICA
Detrital zircon provenance trends in the Larsen basin, a nearly continuous Early Cretaceous-Paleogene succession east of the Antarctic Peninsula, may offer a useful new sedimentary proxy for glacial erosive activity on the continent. We present U/Pb analyses of detrital zircons from 15 Larsen basin sandstones acquired using LA-ICPMS techniques. As expected, Mesozoic ages associated with proximal Antarctic Peninsula source rocks dominate zircon populations in pre-Campanian Larsen sandstones. However, a significant Paleozoic population characterizes sediments deposited around and after the Campanian-Maastricthian boundary, suggesting the abrupt addition of sediments sourced from the continental interior. This major provenance shift is coincident with high-amplitude oscillations in the oxygen isotope and eustatic sea level records, possibly indicating a connection to glacial erosion on the continent.